March 7, 2013: That start of our second year in Portland.
In the past year, amidst unpacking, painting, gardening, work, and trips near and far, Portland's weather shifted according to the seasons: Summer involved three months of surreally beautiful dry weather, Fall brought unexpected color change, and Winter, a season I was prepared to "survive", was mild – gentler than previous years', I've heard. And we're back to Spring again, the season we moved here.
We now know how a Pacific Northwest spring progresses. Flowers and colors burst out in March, starting with crocuses and daffodils, before continuing onto forthysia, camellias, cherry blossoms, and tulips. Days ping pong between 70 degree sun and 40 degree rain. Summer isn't around the corner, Spring is. Portland's Spring lasts from March to July 3, with July 4 marking the beginning of three months of summer: no rain, warm temperatures, and daylight that lasts well beyond 9pm. But last year, I wanted summer to start in June, programmed from years of East Coast living, and felt gloomy and upset everytime I had to begrudgingly put on a sweater and a raincoat, especially when the calendar read June 5th.
This year, I'm ready. Sweaters still play a starring role in my closet; I haven't moved the coats down to the basement. I'm accepting the weather for what it is – because just like the weather can't settle into a consistent pattern, neither can the flowers and vegetation. The cherry blossoms in these pictures have already turned a rusty red. Daffodil season is now mostly over, making room for glorious tulip displays.
And our own garden is slowing starting to take shape. Overwintered herbs (chives, parsley, sage, oregano) are bright green and eager, and perennial flowers at the front of the house are expanding both out and up. We've prepped the raised bed, sown lettuce and carrot seeds, and hung a new bird feeder. And we've made sure that when the weather is nice, we spend entire days outside. Last weekend, along with gardening, we wandered around our neighborhood, visited with Alysha of Sauvie Island Goat Rental, browsed our favorite store in Portland, and watched a scrimmage between Portland's new women's professional soccer team, The Thorns, and the University of Portland Pilots. And today, as I write this post, the weather has shifted back to 40s and rainy.
Spring in Portland: in flux for the next 3 months!
(The various flower photos were taken over the course of March and the first few days of April.)